Edge

Weighty Problems for Dieters

While this is college, the land of late-night munchies, weekend binge drinking, and all-you-can-eat dining halls, this is also Miami, where “thin” has always been “in” and bathing suit season is year-round. For every student leaving the dinner line with heaping plates of pasta, pizza, and burgers, there is another taking puny portions of lettuce leaves or hollowing out a bagel with a spoon in hopes of preventing the “freshman 15.” What many people don’t know is that their diets and extended workouts may be responsible for increased weight problems.

The medical community long ago linked dieting to eating disorders and extreme weight loss: Most individuals (women in particular) that suffer from anorexia or bulimia first acquired problems while dieting to lose five pounds. However, recent studies suggest dieting itself might cause weight gain: One study of teenage girls found frequent dieters gained two pounds per year more than girls who did not diet at all.

We are a culture that applauds weight loss, regardless of how it’s accomplished, whether it’s through diet pills, “low-carbs” or downright starvation. In fact, our culture is so obsessed with shedding pounds that Americans pay between 40 to 50 billion dollars a year to the diet industry. And college students are no exception. A whopping 91 percent of women surveyed on college campuses have attempted to manage their weight through “dieting” an attempt to keep with the trend of the beautifully endowed.

The average dieter has a wide range of regiments to choose from, each providing detailed instructions regarding meal plans, snacking, and exercise:

Atkins requires high protein and low carbohydrate intake.

The South Beach Diet promotes a high protein intake and argues the difference between “good” fats and carbs to “bad” ones.

Pritikin requires strict adherence to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

Ornish claims that one can “eat more and weigh less” by focusing on a diet centered upon high fibers and lowered fats.

Weight Watchers, which is based primarily on portion control, allows the dieter to eat whatever he or she may like, but in a reasonable amount.

However, research reveals the results in weight loss are nearly identical for every brand-name diet.

Experts say it is possible to avoid weight gain without either starving oneself or completely altering eating habits. Nutritionists advise people to monitor liquid calories, especially those in sodas, juices, smoothies, and alcohol. Late-night snacking is acceptable if the munchies are healthy. Pizza is fine, but be smart about your toppings and limit your portions. Lastly, exercise whenever you can. Take the stairs as opposed to the elevator. Take a walk instead of a drive. If the treadmill gets boring, take an aerobics class, which is much more interactive, and if you can’t make it to the gym, try doing a few easy exercises at home.

So rather than going to the extremes and participating in die-hard dieting making life and an obsession with appearance a constant stress, eat smart, work out, and don’t forget to indulge every once in a while.

Nicky Zailcka can be contacted at n.zailcka@umiami.edu.

September 30, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga, awaiting word from the NCAA on the appeal to rei ...

The Hurricanes officially welcomed ballyhooed new quarterback Tate Martell on campus Friday, and he’ ...

Before Jess Simpson’s final playoff run as the coach of Buford fell short in a Georgia state champio ...

The Miami Hurricanes football coaching staff is officially complete. UM announced Friday that Taylor ...

The Marlins — along with a handful of other teams — haven’t signed a single player from another team ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

"We're excited to welcome these coaches to the Miami family," Diaz said. ...

Canes have won six of last 10 meetings with UNC. ...

Check out the January edition of the University of Miami's e-magazine. ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team improved to 2-0 on the young season after securing a ...

The No. 17 Miami women's tennis team will play its first doubleheader of the season Saturday in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.